HEADLINES

Iraq: Karada Terrorist Attack Now At 250 Dead – Still Rising

By Alistair Reign, July 5, 2016 (Updated 07/06/2016). Alistair Reign News Blog.

People light candles at the scene of a massive car bomb attack in Karada, a busy shopping district where people were shopping for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, in the center of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016. More than 100 people died Sunday in a car bombing that the Islamic extremist militia group said it carried out, an official of the Iraqi Interior Ministry said. People light candles at the scene of a massive car bomb attack in Karada, a busy shopping district where people were shopping for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, in the center of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016. More than 100 people died Sunday in a car bombing that the Islamic extremist militia group said it carried out, an official of the Iraqi Interior Ministry said. (Photo: AP/ Hadi Mizban).

Update: The massive suicide bombing in central Baghdad has now become the deadliest attack in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion, with the death toll reaching two-hundred-fifty (250) souls, according to the health ministry.

“Iraqi Christians joined Muslim mourners praying for the victims of the blast as the death toll rose above 200 Monday; many children are reportedly among the dead and hundreds of people were injured.

“Rescue workers were still finding bodies in the charred remains of the Kerrada [sic] shopping district after the massive weekend explosion in the predominantly Shia Muslim area of Baghdad. With dozens of bodies burnt beyond recognition, many families are left desperately hoping yet deeply afraid,” said Free Speech Radio News.

Listen to the Free Speech Radio News report.

The attack came on the eve of Eid-al-Fitr, and the Karada District was packed with people celebrating Ramadan and preparing for the festival that brings the Muslim holy month to a close.

The “self-proclaimed Islamic State” has claimed responsibility for blast.

Iraqi women react on July 4, 2016 at the site of a suicide-bombing attack which took place a day earlier in Baghdad's Karrada neighbourhood . Iraqis mourned the more than 200 people killed by a jihadist-claimed suicide car bombing that was among the deadliest ever attacks in the country. The blast, which the Islamic State group said it carried out, hit the Karrada district early on July 3 as the area was packed with shoppers ahead of this week's holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Iraqi women react on July 4, 2016 at the site of a suicide-bombing attack which took place a day earlier in Baghdad’s Karrada neighbourhood .
 (Photo: AFP/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE).

CNN reports that “the bombing early Sunday in a busy shopping district was the deadliest single attack in Iraq’s war-weary capital in years, killing at least 215 people, Mohamed al-Rubaye‎, deputy head of the security committee of the Baghdad Provincial Council, said Monday on Afaq TV.

Crews remain at the scene in the Karrada neighborhood where the blast occurred, trying to pull bodies from the devastation. Around 175 people were wounded, Rubaye said.

And 81 of the bodies are so charred, DNA testing will need to be conducted to identify them, he said.

An Iraqi man looks for victims at the bomb site in Baghdad.

An Iraqi man looks for victims at the bomb site in Baghdad. (Photo: CCTV).

One couple at the scene were searching for their teenage son who had gone to a cafe with his friends to celebrate his birthday.

“Another man was looking for five relatives, including children, who were buying new clothes for Eid-al-Fitr – the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan on Tuesday.”

FSRN said, “The explosion was triggered by a refrigerated truck packed with explosives, which sparked an enormous fire in the area filled with well-stocked shops selling goods for the upcoming holiday.

“Iraqi Christians joined Muslim mourners praying for the victims of the blast as the death toll rose above 200 Monday; many children are reportedly among the dead and hundreds of people were injured.”

Iraqi men carry on July 4, 2016 a body of a victim, who died in a suicide-bombing attack which took place a day earlier, in Baghdad's Karrada neighbourhood.

Iraqi men carry on July 4, 2016 a body of a victim, who died in a suicide-bombing attack which took place a day earlier, in Baghdad’s Karrada neighbourhood. (Photo: AFP/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE).

CCTV said,Firefighters and civilians could be seen carrying the dead away, their bodies wrapped in blankets and sheets. Smoke billowed from the shopping center, which was surrounded by the twisted and burned wreckage of cars and market stalls. A group of women were sitting on the pavement, crying for their loved ones.”

“Rescue workers were still finding bodies in the charred remains of the Kerrada [sic] shopping district after the massive weekend explosion in the predominantly Shia Muslim area of Baghdad. With dozens of bodies burnt beyond recognition, many families are left desperately hoping yet deeply afraid.

“The attack came on the eve of Eid-al-Fitr, and the Kerrada District was packed with people celebrating Ramadan and preparing for the festival that brings the Muslim holy month to a close. The self-proclaimed Islamic State has claimed responsibility for blast.

“The explosion was triggered by a refrigerated truck packed with explosives, which sparked an enormous fire in the area filled with well-stocked shops selling goods for the upcoming holiday.

An Iraqi man reacts on July 4, 2016 as he enters a building that was destroyed in a suicide-bombing attack which took place a day earlier in Baghdad's Karrada neighbourhood.

An Iraqi man reacts on July 4, 2016 as he enters a building that was destroyed in a suicide-bombing attack which took place a day earlier in Baghdad’s Karrada neighbourhood. (Photo: AFP/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE).

“Mohammed al Bayd is Vice Chair of Baghdad Community Security. Distraught, he spoke to CCTV in the aftermath of the blast.

““Most of the people in the building were in their 20s, now hundreds of people have been hurt here,” al Bayd said. “The government sits in a chair doing nothing when it comes to security.

“Security services in Baghdad are fractured into small agencies, and many say they are ineffective. The attack comes just more than a week after U.S.-backed Iraqi forces recaptured the city of Falluja from the self-styled Islamic State.

“Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi visited the scene of the attack Sunday, but was met by hostile crowds who hurled rocks and bottles as he walked through the fire-ravaged area, angry at an ineffective government they say has failed to protect them.”

CCTV America’s Susan Roberts spoke to professor Joav Toker of the American graduate school in Paris about why these terror attacks are becoming more common.

“The Kerrada blast wasn’t the only attack for which ISIS has claimed credit in recent days. In Bangladesh, seven attackers launched a siege late Friday night at an upscale, international restaurant in the capital Dhaka.

“The perpetrators targeted foreigners, butchering 20 people with machetes before police stormed the building. Sunday, officials identified the attackers; all were well educated members of the Bangladesh elite,” Free Speech Radio News said.

Police killed all but one at the end of the siege; one attacker is in custody.

CNN reports: “ISIS said it would carry out more terror attacks during Ramadan. The Baghdad bombing came after massacres at a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, and security targets in Yemen. There have also been recent suicide attacks in Jordan and Lebanon.

Both Baghdad strikes are a sign of the Sunni-Shiite tension in the Muslim world. Sunni-dominated ISIS claimed it was targeting Shiite neighborhoods. Karada and Shaab are predominately Shiite neighborhoods.

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